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Forest Technology

Issues related to Forestry Safety

Forestry | Working Safe

Logging Safety Standards

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By many measures, logging is the most dangerous occupation in the United States. The tools and equipment such as chain saws and logging machines pose hazards wherever they are used. As loggers use their tools and equipment, they deal with massive weights and irresistible momentum of falling, rolling, and sliding trees and logs. The hazards are more acute when dangerous environmental conditions are factored in, such as uneven, unstable or rough terrain; inclement weather including rain, snow, lightning, winds, and extreme cold and/or remote and isolated work sites where health care facilities are not immediately accessible.

The combination of these hazards present a significant risk to employees working in logging operations throughout the country, regardless of the type of timber being logged, where it is logged, or the end use of the wood.

Exposures to hazards in logging are addressed in specific standards for the general industry.



This section highlights OSHA standards, Federal Registers (rules, proposed rules, and notices), preambles to final rules (background to final rules), directives (instructions for compliance officers), standard interpretations (official interpretation of the standards), state standards, and national consensus standards related to logging.

Note: Twenty-five states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have OSHA-approved State Plans and have adopted their own standards and enforcement policies. For the most part, these States adopt standards that are identical to Federal OSHA. However, some States have adopted different standards applicable to this industry or may have different enforcement policies. State standards that differ from Federal standards are listed in the State Standard section below.

Frequently Cited Standards

OSHA maintains a listing of the most frequently cited standards for specified 2-6-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes. Please refer to OSHA's Frequently Cited OSHA Standards page for additional information. For Forestry and Logging use NAICS code 113 in the NAICS search box.

Other Highlighted Standards

General Industry (29 CFR 1910)

Federal Registers

  • Logging Operations. Final Rules 60:47022-47037, (1995, September 8). Corrects and amends the final rule on Logging Operations which was published by OSHA on October 12, 1994 (59 FR 51672).
  • Logging Operations. Final Rules 59:51672-51748, (1994, October 12). Replaces the existing standard at 29 CFR 1910.266, that had applied only to pulpwood logging, and thereby expands coverage to provide protection for all employees engaged in logging operations.
  • Search all available Federal Registers.

Preambles to Final Rules


Standard Interpretations


Note: These are NOT OSHA regulations. However, they do provide guidance from their originating organizations related to worker protection.

National Consensus

Note: These are NOT OSHA regulations. However, they do provide guidance from their originating organizations related to worker protection.

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

  • B175.1-1991, Safety Requirements for Gasoline-Powered Chain Saws
  • Z87.1-1968, USA Standard for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection
  • Z87.1-1989, American National Standard Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection
  • Z89.1-1969, American National Standard Safety Requirements for Industrial Head Protection
  • Z89.1-1986, American National Standard for Personnel Protection-- Protective Headwear for Industrial Workers-Requirements
  • B175.1-2000, Gasoline Powered Chain Saws, Safety Requirements
  • Z87.1-2003, American National Standard for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection Devices. Joint standard with the International Safety Equipment Association. (ISEA).
  • Z89.1-2003, American National Standard for Industrial Head Protection. Joint standard with the International Safety Equipment Association. (ISEA).

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)

  • B56.6 -1992, Safety Standard for Rough Terrain Forklift Trucks
  • B56 Standards. The ANSI/ITDSF Safety Standards  B56.1 (low lift and high lift trucks); B56.6  (rough terrain forklifts);  B-56.8 (personnel and burden carriers); B56.9 (operator controlled industrial tow tractors) and B-56.10 (manually propelled high lift trucks) are very explicit on right of way. (2005 Standards). Joint Standards with the Industrial Truck Standards Development Foundation (ITSTF).

Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)

  • J185, Recommended Practice for Access Systems for Off-Road Machines, (1988, June)
  • J231, Minimum Performance Criteria for Falling Object Protective Structures (FOPS), (1981, January)
  • J386, Operator Restraint Systems for Off-Road Work Machines, (1985, June)
  • J397, Deflection Limiting Volume-ROPS/FOPS Laboratory Evaluation, (1988, April)
  • J1040, Performance Criteria for Rollover Protective Structures (ROPS) for Construction, Earthmoving, Forestry, and Mining Machines, (1988, April)
  • J185, Access Systems for Off-Road Machines, (2003, May).
  • J1356, Minimum Performance Criteria for Falling Object Guards for Excavators.
  • J386, Operator Restraint System for Off-Road Work Machines, (2006, February).
  • J397, Deflection Limiting Volume-Protective Structures Laboratory Evaluation, (2004, May).
  • J2267, Minimum Performance Criteria for Operator Front Protective Structure (OFPS) for Certain Equipment, (2007, April).

Hazard Recognition

Logging operations involve felling, moving trees and logs from the stump to the point of delivery, transporting machines, equipment and personnel to and from and between logging sites. Loggers need to recognize the hazards associated with marking danger trees, felling, limbing, bucking, debarking, chipping, yarding, loading, unloading, and storing logs. This page addresses safety practices for all types of logging, regardless of the end use of the wood. These include pulpwood and timber harvesting and the logging of sawlogs, veneer bolts, poles, pilings and other forest products.

  • Potential Hazards of Mislabeled Steel Toe Logger Boots. OSHA Safety and Health Information Bulletin, (2004, September 30). Alerts employers and employees of the potential electrical hazards of Georgia Boot's mislabeled steel toe logger boots; to provide Georgia Boot customers with the manufacturer's recall instructions for the subject boots; and to remind users of OSHA's requirements for electrical protective equipment as covered by 29 CFR 1910.137.
  • Logging Review Report. OSHA. Provides a review of logging fatalities investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in FY 1996 and FY 1997. 
  • Logging Safety. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Workplace Safety and Health Topic. Contains a listing of several NIOSH publications related to safety in the logging industry.

Possible Solutions

The following links provide information about possible solutions for hazards in logging.

  • Preventing Injuries and Deaths of Loggers. US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 95-101, (1995, May). Describes six incidents resulting in the deaths of six workers who were performing logging operations. In each incident, the death could have been prevented by using proper safety procedures and equipment and by following the provisions of the OSHA standards.
  • NIOSH Criteria for a Recommended Standard: Logging from Felling to First Haul. US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 76-188, (1976, July). Presents the recommended standard prepared to meet the need for preventing occupational injuries and deaths in logging operations.